11 January 2004: Dean catches flak over record on minorities, St Louis Post Dispatch
Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio turned a question on the space program into a platform of canceling President George W. Bush's tax cuts, bringing troops home from Iraq and slashing the Pentagon budget. And, he threw in a joke for good measure: "I've been wondering why the president would, while we're still in Iraq, talk about going to the moon and going to Mars. Maybe he's looking for the weapons of mass destruction still."
11 January 2004: Mars, the moon on Bush's Agenda, Marin Independent Journal
But politics does not stop at the atmosphere's edge. At a rally in Rochester, N.H., yesterday for his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, Howard Dean, the former Vermont governor, suggested that Bush's motivation was political, and he asked how the program would be paid for. "I happen to think space exploration is terrific," Dean said. "Where is the tax increase to pay for it? It is not worth bankrupting the country."
11 January 2004: Democrats in Tight Race Before Iowa Caucuses, Reuters
"At a pancake breakfast in Waterloo, Iowa, Dean took aim at Bush instead, calling him out of touch with reality and ridiculing his upcoming call for replacing aging U.S. space shuttles with a new generation spacecraft to get Americans back to the moon and on to Mars."
11 January 2004: CNN Late Edition (Transcript)
BLITZER: "Let's go through a few of the substantive issues on the agenda right now. The president expecting next week, in this coming week, to announce a major new initiative on space, to perhaps send man, maybe women, men and women, back to the moon for some sort of a permanent base there, and maybe even, long term, go out to Mars. Is this money well spent?"
LIEBERMAN: "You know, I have very mixed feelings about it, but I'll make clear where I end up. Remember, I was attracted into politics by President Kennedy, so the moonshot program thrilled me, and I've always supported the space program. But if you ask me whether the best use of $1 trillion of American taxpayer money in the coming years is to land a mission on Mars or the moon, I'd say no. We need it right here on Earth to give health care that's affordable to everybody, to improve our education system, and do better on veterans' benefits and homeland security. And I'll tell you, I've got an idea to create an American center for cures, that will set as the goal something that seems as impossible today as it did when Kennedy said we could go to the moon, and that's to cure chronic diseases like Alzheimer's and forms of cancer and diabetes, et cetera, et cetera. But if we need -- if we had that kind of money, we could do it right here on Earth. And, frankly, I think that's more important to the American people than that kind of space voyage at this point in our history."